By Prof. Dr. Hazbi M. Shehu
Memorie.al / One day I was sitting in a café with a colleague of mine to drink coffee. In the conversation he said to me: “I will tell an event that until now and myself, I did not want to repeat, because even today in democracy, when I remember I tremble” ?! Then I said: if it creates danger for you or your family, please do not tell me either. “No, no he replied, today that event has remained only as a bitter memory.” When so, well then, if you are relieved tell me…! Exactly, your honesty and friendship, make it easier for me if I confess?!
“After graduating from the Faculty of Geology and Mining, the ministry appointed me a geological engineer at the Petroleum Exploration Company in Patos. And on May 2, 1957, I started work. After about 5-6 months, the head of the Personnel Branch informed me that I was wanted at the Patos Internal Affairs Branch. I asked the boss: why are they looking for me? “I do not know,” he replied. The next morning, I left for the Home Office. As I walked along the road, I was reminded of my father’s messages: ‘Now you will start work; you will enter the working life with many worries and every step you take in life; be prudent. The regime in which we live is a communist regime and has as a principle, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat or the working class, therefore, you must work seriously and without deceit, because this regime does not joke and does not forgive, whoever you are.
In cafes or clubs, being careful not to talk without thinking, you should also beware of your closest friend, especially for political problems. I think that the best and fairest way for you, is to deal with scientific studies of your profession, because science is a little further from politics and as a state in formation, the government needs honest scientists and workers. I also have a special message: Maybe the State Security asked you to cooperate. In this case, there are two ways: If you accept, you will spy on your friends and colleagues; if you do not accept, they can put you in jail.
So it’s a difficult problem. There is a third way, but it is very dangerous to play the role of a fool. But if they understood you, you could end up in a madhouse ‘?! (My father, in the time of King Zog, worked as a secretary in the recruitment office, while in the communist regime; he worked as a technician in the military mobilization center). I elaborate in my father’s advice and thoughts, without waiting I hear a voice: Come on engineer. Come on, we’re waiting for you. In front of me stood a middle-aged man with a smiling face…! He shook my hand and invited me to his office, introducing himself: ‘I am the chairman of the Internal Affairs Branch of Patos; while I, I answered you; Geological engineer, Muhamed Sinjari, employee at the Petroleum Exploration Company in Patos.
“Very well,” he replied, and invited me to sit down. He kept asking me if I was married, for my parents, etc., and finally detonated the bomb: ‘The party and the people gave you the opportunity to become an intellectual with a geological engineering profession, which the state desperately needs. Therefore, you must reward the Party and the people. ‘
I replied that I am ready to work with all my strength where the homeland needs it. ‘Bravo’ he replied! Now listen: We, the Internal Affairs Branch of Patos, propose you to work with us. Are you ready’? I answered you: since I was a child I dreamed of becoming a detective, thank you, I said to the mayor and got up to leave. “Wait,” said the mayor, “where are you going?” At the company I make the submissions, then go to the Party Committee, inform them, and then, come here to start working with you.
The mayor froze and addressed the other person in the office: ‘Ore Kozma, did you explain to the engineer what I told you? “No, comrade mayor, because I did not have time,” he said, then turned to me: “Listen, boy, you are in a hurry. You will work in the company where the ministry has appointed you, but at the same time, you will work with us’. Two jobs at the same time, I answered you?! What about you, Mr. President, how much work do you do? He replied without thinking: ‘One’. As for me, how can I do two things at the same time, I cannot do them.
‘Well, why would you go to the Party Committee’ he asked me? For, I answered you; Comrade Enver has said: do not hide anything from the Party; and I immediately notified the Party Committee of any serious problems concerning me. I strictly follow the words and messages of Comrade Enver. They are sacred to me!
He addressed Kozmaj: ‘Where did you find this sample?! Kozmai replied: You comrade chairman told me to find new engineers for our work. I intervened: Comrade Mayor, if there is no job for a detective, let me first work as a police officer, later for a detective. And I got up again to run away. He stopped me, saying: Where are you going, are you in a hurry?! I agree to work as a police officer and go to the company to make deliveries and also make the announcement to the Party Committee and that finally I come here, to start work. He got angry and said: ‘Ore Kozma, this is it, you seem to have found it on order, and this is a pigeon’. I intervened: please comrade mayor, do not offend us!
“Listen, boy: Since Comrade Kozma did not explain the task well; I am repeating it more clearly: you will work at the Petroleum Exploration Company as an engineer, but at the same time, you will work for us.” I told you and you are repeating it again, I cannot do two jobs at once. You comrade chairman, choose and assign me where to work, but a task. “Why,” said the mayor, “do your friends do both?” They lie, I answered you; they say they do, but in fact, they do none, they waste it. I serve the homeland honestly, as Comrade Enver teaches us and does not hide anything from the Party, I am an honest man, I try to solve every problem that I am asked to solve, but I did not solve it, i I turn to the Party, through the Party Committee, for help!
These are the lessons of Comrade Enver! I believe that you do the same, or not, comrade chairman, and you do not keep secrets from the Party; or not comrade chairman? He replied at once: without further ado, and I first carry out the orders of Comrade Enver! “But the Party and Comrade Enver have instructed us to keep the State Security, as the sharpest weapon of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, strong, to strike at the enemies of the Party and the people, right?” Yes, I answered you. “Then,” continued the mayor, “in order to have a strong Security, you must help us, do you agree?” I was answering you, I am ready to start work here in the Branch right now, but two jobs cannot be done at the same time. I cannot lie to the Party and Comrade Enver. Comrade Enver in his works, which you have definitely read, wrote: let each one do his work honestly and cleanly, and I, the works of Comrade Enver, have the shining star.
Now that we are done together, I will go straight to the Party Committee and explain our conversation to you. They know for themselves how they will instruct me, but any instruction within the teachings of Comrade Enver, otherwise I do not follow it. The mayor got angry and addressed Kozmaj again: Where did you find this idiot and fool, who is not helping us in our work. I intervened: if you, comrade chairman, call a fool and an idiot a believer in the works of Comrade Enver, then let us settle the matter in the Party Committee, and I got up when he stopped me: Where are you going? In the Party Committee, I answered you.
‘Sit down, sit down’ – he told me in a soft voice, that in the Party Committee, I will go and talk to them, because as you said: we have a message from Comrade Enver, to discuss any problem and settlement with the Party. “You are a rock head,” said the mayor. I am a rock head – I answered you, because I follow the orders of Comrade Enver. He is our great leader and all the people, follow the orders of the great Enver Hoxha. “Now, get away with it and work hard at the company.” I continued: Promises me that you will go to the Party Committee for our conversation, or I will go? He got angry and continued: ‘I told you I would go, that we have a duty
“O memories my memories! How dirty I am with you; O memories” The expression of a writer, philosopher and professor… but I do not remember!
It was the time of the beginning of the so-called democracy. I was on my way to a classmate’s cafe in Tirana when I heard a voice: Professor, professor? I turned my head and noticed that in front of me stood a former student of mine, Mihali. I said: Where are you more Mihal? It became a long time without meeting; how are you? “Well,” he replied, “how are you, professor?” Now well, but I was very embarrassed?! “I know, I know,” replied Mihali. How do you know? Who said that? “Listen, professor,” he continued: “At that time, I had just been appointed Chief of State Security for the entire oil sector. And the friends of the Ministry asked me, how do you know a geological engineer, Filip Mitro? Yes, I answered you, he taught me at the Petroleum Technical School. He is an honest man, a scholar, a worker, he does not like clubs, drinks, and he has no vices that harm man. Why do you ask me, I asked? Because the Patos Branch of Internal Affairs has proposed them for cooperation; whereas he did not accept and, misbehaved with the chairman of the Patos Branch and they, proposed measures to be taken for him. Are you crazy? Punishing honest people like him would be very wrong. Comrade Enver, instructed us to be careful with people and not to harm our people, because we leave a bad impression on the people! The people he has worked and works with have very good impressions of him. Well, said the friends of the Ministry analyze well this case and give us an answer?
I have very clear his behavior and character and I repeat, such people should not be touched. Well – they answer – send us the answer in writing. I sent him the answer and your case professor was closed, despite the objections of the chairman of the Internal Branch of Patos, because I decided. I did this, not for you, but because that was the truth. How are you doing now, O Mihal? We have fallen from power now. It’s not true – I replied – even now all the power is in the hands of former security guards and communists everywhere, in every post, but I am now in a hurry to meet my former classmates at one of our friend’s cafes. “We will meet again, and we will part.”
When my friend finished his story, I told him: the story is very interesting, if it is true! He replied: ‘It is so true that I feel fear and now that it is all over. It’s just that the real name is that of Kozma, the secretary who worked in the Internal Affairs Branch, the other names, I changed them and they are fictitious’. But why – I said, over 50 years have passed and a good part of people do not live, why are you afraid?! ‘It’s not fear, but people will say: write to sell mind. So dear friend, if your journalist friend publishes it, he published it under fictitious names, otherwise…! Memorie.al